Latest Articles in Design 101

Gardening illustration by Malin Rosenqvist

An Introduction to Home Gardening

Ever since Adam and Eve’s unfortunate eviction, their descendants have been plunging hands and seeds into the earth in hopes of bringing forth food, beauty, and the satisfaction of taming nature. Though few of us find that our home gardens offer the peace, beauty, bounty, and ease of Eden, each planting—–from Babylon’s Hanging Gardens to Gregor Mendel’s famous peas—–adds to our knowledge of and delight in the natural world.
March 15, 2011
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Collection Reform

Regional and world-class museums alike must daily contend with the same pedestrian woe: How can we show all this art? Limited by space, most museums manage to show only a tiny fraction of what they possess.
December 30, 2010
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20/200 Vision

What if you could get a real work of art for as little as $20? And it’s not 
a coffeehouse portrait of Neil Young?
December 30, 2010
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An Introduction to Art Collecting

For millennia, kings and clerics alike have understood that little inspires awe and confers power better than a battalion of marble statues, an epic tapestry, or an exquisitely rendered portrait. Any story of art collection, however, is ineluctably a story of economics. Amass a fortune and art is often the first thing you’ll buy. Squander it and those Titians are the first things on the auction block. Yet for as long as the wealthy have adorned their homes with Grecian urns, so too have the hoi polloi managed to squirrel away artworks of their own.
December 30, 2010
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Curator: Zoe Ryan

Call her the wild card (or the green card) in this U.S.–focused roundup, but London-born Zoë Ryan has graced our shores for the past 14 years and in the process has brought a sharp curatorial eye and a plethora of design objects to our galleries and museums.  
December 15, 2010
Young Guns Dwell graphic

Young Designers

Branching out and doing your own thing is a brave and bold move at any time and any age. That said, the 21 visionaries we profile here—–designers 
of interiors, graphics, architecture, exhibitions, furniture, landscapes, 
and communities both online and off—–are all younger than 40 and are building their careers in the United States during an economic recession. Their mediums range wildly, from high-end residential town houses 
to urban postindustrial landscapes, but what they all share are uncommon tenacity and highly personal approaches to blazing their own paths. We’ve found editors who reinvented themselves as unconventional bloggers when their magazine shuttered; community activists who are transforming foreclosed houses in Detroit into models of environmental sustainability; and designers who’ve built burgeoning furniture companies in their own backyards. Neither an exhaustive compendium nor an exclusive best-of list, this roundup is a sampling of rising stars whose work continues to catch our eyes and imaginations.
December 15, 2010
Retail design illustrations by Leif Parsons

An Introduction to Retail Design

The ancient Greeks did it in the agora; the Romans did it in the forum; Persians did it in the bazaar (“the place of prices”); and Arabs and Berbers did it in the labyrinthine souk. Today, whether we’re home in our underwear, duty-free at the airport, or tapping at our phones, shopping still makes the world go ‘round.
November 6, 2010
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An Introduction to Architects

Aside from that mischievous caveperson in France who used a piece of charcoal to draw a line around some stick figures that suggested some kind of manmade shelter, it is generally acknowledged that a gentleman named Daedalus was the first architect to emerge from the ooze.1 Daedalus is best known as the mythical designer of a fantastic house for a grumpy man with a bull’s head, named the Minotaur.2
October 12, 2010
intro to lighting

An Introduction to Lighting

One of the oldest proclamations in Western literature—maybe the very oldest, depending on how you see things—is “Let there be light.” And for most of human history, whether we dwelled in caves or in Gilded Age mansions, light was inseparable from heat: Domestic lighting consisted of either letting sunlight inside or burning something organic. The Egyptians were making candles from beeswax and animal fat 5,000 years ago, and except for the discovery of new fuel sources—whale oil, ahoy!—the candle continued to illuminate homes deep into the 19th century.
August 26, 2010